top of page

More Than I Need To Know

Cartoon sketch of a television on a stand with an outlet next to it; the television is unplugged. Remotes and controllers are scattered on the tabletop, while DVDs and books line the shelf underneath. Cartoon sketch by Earle Levenstein.

First time I ever saw TV was in the lobby of a movie theater and the screen was green and —My God! It was a Brooklyn Dodgers game!— and my pal and I were just out of our minds with excitement.

I mean, that was a time when we didn't watch; we listened to games on the radio. You could hear the crack of the bat and the crowd screaming, but that was it. Better than nothing but not the real deal.

News was on the radio, too; reports of dreadful things going on in Europe; the far East; every continent. The rest of the news; detailed analyses, photos, were wired back; in the morning paper when it arrived; or later in the week in newsreels; between movies.

That was pretty much it: bulletins on radio, newspapers more detailed, and then images on the great Silver Screen.

Lapse of maybe a day or so between full reports and the whole picture.

Well, talk about a revolution.

My life is now a non-stop assault upon each and every organ in my body: eyes, ears, brain, heart, soul. My very essence. Incessant. No breaks allowed.

A never-ending machine gun fusillade of un-prioritized, random happenings: from those of absolute zero interest to a life-shattering story; from a flooded village at the other end of the world to a newly-discovered object in outer space; from a heatwave in the Midwest to a melting iceberg in the Arctic; to a hole-in-one in a golf tournament.

Twenty-four hours a day, every day of the week, and every remaining day of your life…relentless; unavoidable.

The transmitter is locked on Always. Pause button out of order. Can't stop it even if you try.

Go ahead.

Give it a shot.

Try to tune out. To take a break. To just watch the birdies, the sunrise or set.

The tide coming in or going out.

To just sit and breathe.

To close your eyes and count to a hundred slowly without feeling anxious; that you're missing something, that you'd better check for messages, a text, the latest news…that you'll discover has nothing whatsoever to do with your life, with anyone's life.

Final test?

Try to leave your home tomorrow without your cell phone.

Lots of luck.

But if you do…please let me know how.

I've tried and first step out the door I burst into tears.


Well…would've if I'd tried.

You're not alone.

bottom of page